Men’s Track Impresses at Massasoit Classic with Victories in Seven Events
Issue   |   Tue, 01/31/2017 - 21:39
Clarus Studios
Justin Barry ‘18 (left) and Cosmo Brossy ‘19 (right) led a dominant Amherst effort in the 3000-meter run, with the team taking five of the first six places.

This weekend, the Amherst men’s track and field team made the quick trip to Springfield College to compete at the Massasoit Classic, a non-scoring meet. With many members of the men’s cross country team now eligible for indoor competition following the conclusion of the investigation of the team’s emails, the team was at full strength.

Senior captain Kevin Connors kicked off the meet for the purple and white by earning a victory in his specialty event, the mile. After a spring track season stopped short due to injury, the miler returned to the oval, cruising to victory in a time of 4:22.75. The senior qualified for DIII New England Championships, while Amherst claimed a first through fourth sweep with first-years Ralph Skinner, Spencer Ferguson-Dryden and Estevan Velez finishing second through fourth.

First-year Theo Bates earned his first collegiate victory, running a time of 8.60 seconds in the 60-meter hurdles final. Bates follows in the footsteps of older sister Naomi Bates ’14, a two-time DIII National Champion in the long jump for the purple and white. He led teammate Maxim Doiron ’19 who qualified for the hurdles final as well and placed fifth with a time of 8.95 seconds.

Bates translated this success on the track to the long jump pit, where he placed sixth with a jump of 5.57 meters. Classmate Yonas Shiferaw placed fourth in the triple jump with a leap of 11.36 meters.

First-years Elijah Ngbokoli and Mayowa Tinubu both qualified for the 60-meter dash finals for the second week in a row, where they placed fourth and seventh, respectively.

Kristian Sogaard ’19 led a string of impressive performances from the sophomore class when he posted a dominating victory in the 1,000-meter run in a time of 2:31.26, beating his nearest competitor by nearly three seconds. With his victory, the sophomore also qualified for the DIII New England Championships.

Junior captain David Ingraham ran his specialty event, the 400-meter dash, for the first time this season where he placed a close second in a time of 52.38 seconds. With members of the cross country now able to compete, his 400-meter skills might play a critical role on a competitive distance medley relay team later in the season. Harrison Haigood ’18 also competed in the 400-meters, where he placed fifth in a time of 53.09 seconds.

Sophomores Vernon Espinoza and Ermias Kebede led the 800-meter run, where the two placed first and second, running times of 1:58.01 and 1:58.37, respectively. Both ensured their postseason futures, qualifying for the DIII New England Championships.

Elijah Ngbokoli ’20 earned his first collegiate win in the 200-meter dash, where he secured a victory in a time of 23.43 seconds for the one-lap race. Classmate Biafra Okoronkwo ’20 placed eighth, finishing in 24.19 seconds.
Sophomore Sam Amaka led the field events for Amherst, as he threw the shot put a distance of 12.87 meters to place second in the event. Amaka also placed third in the weight throw, while classmate Widsom Yevudza ‘19 who claimed seventh place in the event.
Cosmo Brossy ’19 won the 3,000-meter run with a time of 8:51.76, and teammate Ben Fiedler ’17 followed with a runner-up performance in a time of 8:52.98, with both qualifying for the DIII New England Championships. Brossy’s victory was redeeming, as the all-NESCAC cross-country performer wasn’t able to run to his full potential at the end of the cross country season due to injury. Teammates Tucker Meijer ’19, Justin Barry ’18 and Raymond Meijer ’17 placed fourth through sixth in the event, using their pack running experience to successfully navigate the 15-lap race together.

Despite being seeded last for the 4x400-meter relay, the purple and white ran to a dominating victory by beating the relay team from Trinity by more than eight seconds. Sogaard followed up his 1,000-meter run victory by leading off the relay team in a split of 51.7 seconds, the fastest on the team.

“A lot of younger guys stepped up in a variety of events, with some first years and sophomores getting individual wins,” Connors said. “It’ll be exciting to watch them and the rest of the team continue to progress as the season moves forward.”
This weekend, the purple and white travel to Tufts on Saturday, Feb. 4 to compete against a large field of teams in hopes of earning more victories and DIII New England Championship qualifying marks. With only two more regular season meets remaining, athletes must achieve these qualifying marks to compete at upcoming championship meets.